Usually, coughing is not a symptom of a heart attack, though a heavy or pressure-like feeling in the chest is a classic symptom of a heart attack about to happen, or one already in progress.
Thus, if you’ve been experiencing a heavy sensation in your chest, and you have a new-onset cough that seems to be part of the problem – these two symptoms together are most likely NOT being caused by a problem involving your heart.
“This is most typically caused by a bronchial infection,” says Arielle Levitan, MD, board certified in internal medicine and co-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC and co-author of “The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.”
“It can be viral or bacterial,” continues Dr. Levitan. “People feel a tightness in their chest associated with a cough.
“On occasion this can be caused by bronchitis or pneumonia. Sometimes this can be a sign of reactive airway disease, otherwise known as asthma.”
Pneumonia can be fatal if not treated in time. Many people develop the cough, and may not have any other symptoms and hence, blow it off as just a bad cold.
But pneumonia requires treatment and if left untreated, can have very bleak consequences.
Asthma, too, can be lethal. So it’s crucial to find out what is causing your coughing with a heavy feeling in your chest. This is nothing to tinker around with.
More on Bronchial Infections
The condition in acute form is also known as acute bronchitis or a chest cold. It will typically clear up in about a week to 10 days — but the cough can persist for weeks.
Other symptoms include feeling short of breath, fatigued and having a mild fever.
The cough that comes with this “chest cold” may be productive: sputum or mucus coming out, which may be clear, white, grey-yellow or even green.
Dr. Levitan is board certified in internal medicine and has a special interest in women’s health and preventive medicine.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.